With the regular season over and playoff seedings decided, several Denton-area teams head into the UIL state playoffs over the next two days, beginning tonight with the Denton Lady Broncos and the Ryan Raiders.
If the Denton Lady Broncos could have bottled their first-inning success and contained their third-inning disaster, Tuesday's District 5-5A showdown against Wichita Falls Rider might have turned out differently.
Despite a first-round playoff exit in overtime fashion, the Guyer boys had a breakthrough year on the Class 6A state basketball landscape. That was led by a fantastic sophomore duo of point guard De'Vion Harmon and guard Jalen Wilson, and those two were selected to the Texas Association of Basketball Coaches Class 6A Region I all-region team.
On most nights, seven strikeouts can make for a powerful pitching outing. On Friday at Cotton Nix Field, Denton's Wyatt Folsom showed he had the tools to dismantle the Sherman Bearcats, but the Broncos' offense was late to arrive as Sherman pitcher David Bedgood kept them off balance throughout much of the game.
Argyle was well represented on the District 9-4A all-district team, this after a dominating regular season that led to the Eagles winning 33 games and making a run to their first state tournament since 2012.
Ryan and Denton took their sweet time playing Tuesday's District 5-5A opener, thanks largely to bad pitching.
The Denton Lady Broncos clinched the District 5-5A title with their 10-0 destruction of Denison on Friday, also earning a tiebreaker over Wichita Falls via a 2-1 win in late February. Against Wichita Falls Rider on Tuesday, Denton looked as if it was going to hold on for another victory, but two goals from Rider's Maddi Kyle ended the Lady Broncos' bid for a perfect season with a 2-1 loss.
In their final game before playoffs, the Denton Lady Broncos were able to shake off the sting of their first loss of the season and close out their stellar regular season on a high note.
The Ryan softball team kicked off its district season with a dominant 14-0 win against Denton behind a near flawless performance from pitcher Bri Leeds.
KELLER — For the second straight playoff game, the Denton Broncos found themselves in a tense, back-and-forth battle. Denton escaped the bi-district round with Tyrus Johnson’s magical 3 in overtime Tuesday, but on Friday in the Class 5A area round, the Bronco magic ran out.
The race to UIL basketball gold begins this week for seven Denton-area boys teams while the Ryan and Argyle are the only two area girls teams still alive in the third round of the state playoffs with regional tournament berths on the line Tuesday night.
AUSTIN — At the biggest meet of the season, all three Denton ISD swimmers set personal bests in Friday’s Class 5A state swim meet, and Braswell’s Alexa Barnes also was able to qualify for Saturday’s finals.
The Denton Lady Broncos remained unbeaten in the regular season and picked up their third straight win Friday night, cruising past Braswell 5-0.
The Ryan boys basketball team won a coin flip against Denton on Wednesday afternoon, making the Raiders the top seed in District 5-5A.
KELLER — Denton coach Erin Taylor told her team Saginaw Boswell was everything it was cracked up to be heading into Tuesday’s first-round playoff game. The advance warning didn’t do any good.
Screams roared through a Denton High locker room following Round 2 of the crosstown rivalry between Denton and Ryan. After the Broncos won an overtime thriller at Ryan on Jan. 17 to improve their District 5-5A record to 5-0, it was the Raiders who enjoyed the celebration Friday.
LITTLE ELM — The Denton Broncos are on a mission: Win a district title with an undefeated record. So far, so good. With a convincing 80-54 victory over Braswell on Tuesday, Denton has at least a share of the District 5-5A title — a feat it hadn’t accomplished since 1991.
Denton is four games into its District 5-5A season and has handled adversity with grace and tenacity. After falling to rival Ryan to open district play, Denton bounced back with a 2-1 win over Sherman and a 3-1 road victory over defending district champ Wichita Falls.
Feb. 28. That’s when Denton and Wichita Falls will meet again. After they drew to a 2-2 tie Friday at Bronco Field, the stage is set for a second and final showdown that is sure to have significance in the District 5-5A race.
With offers swirling around the heads of Denton’s Grant Polley and Chris Miller, at the end of national signing day on Wednesday, both players found a home at Colorado. Polley had committed to Kansas as a junior and had offers from Texas, Oregon, Baylor, California, Michigan, Mississippi, Oklahoma State, Purdue, TCU and Texas Tech.
So far, so good. In Denton’s first District 5-5A game, against crosstown rival Ryan, the Lady Broncos had a goal of playing with high intensity.
Ryan’s offense hasn’t been scaring anyone. But that may have changed now that district play has started. Senior midfielder Cody Davidson scored twice Friday, including the go-ahead goal with just more than 17 minutes to play, as the Raiders rallied for a 2-1 win against crosstown rival Denton in the District 5-5A opener for both teams.
Ryan hosted Denton on Tuesday. And of course the game went into overtime. What else could be expected from a game that featured crosstown rivals who not only were overdue for a district showdown — neither have been in the same district since the 2011-2012 season — but also were battling for the top spot in the standings.
Playing each other for the first time, Denton’s experience won out over Braswell’s youth as the Broncos trapped the Bengals all Friday night in a 64-52 victory to stay perfect in District 5-5A.
Holding Denison to 44 points, the Denton defense had its usual swagger Tuesday at home, but offensively the Broncos took it to a whole other level. Hitting shots from all over the court while running the Yellow Jackets up and down the floor, every Bronco that made it into the game scored as Denton destroyed Denison 101-44.
In a battle between District 5-5A foes and crosstown rivals Denton and Ryan, defense was the main focus for each coach. Ryan coach Monesha Allen and Denton coach Erin Taylor are known for their defense pedigrees, and in the teams’ district opener Friday, Ryan’s defense flourished while Denton’s was lackluster.
In a clash of styles, the Denton Broncos faced a similarly high-octane offense in Argyle on Tuesday with the Eagles boasting a well-balanced, 3-point shooting attack compared to Denton’s run-and-gun transition game.
Denton-area volleyball players were represented well on their respective all-district teams. The select players are chosen by district coaches, who consider their performance during district play.
The Denton Broncos did not have their usual swagger in the first half against Keller Central. They lacked defensive energy and execution on the offensive end and found themselves trailing by as many as nine points late in the fourth quarter.
Denton offensive lineman Grant Polley had quite an up-and-down season during his senior year. He missed several games with a painful knee injury, and the Broncos lost a heartbreaker at home in their opening-round playoff tilt against Justin Northwest.
New season, same tenacious defense. The Denton Broncos have been known for their relentless defense in past seasons, but with several players graduating, the opportunity to find a new identity was a possibility.
When the Denton Broncos stormed out to an impressive 23-0 lead in their bi-district playoff opener against Justin Northwest, it seemed as if all the pieces were finally falling into place and Denton might easily roll into the second round. But Northwest was relentless, scored 21 fourth-points, including a touchdown with 16 seconds left, and defeated Denton 31-29.